5% TB patients in UP remain undetected

Health |  IANS  | Published :

Lucknow, Dec 4 (IANS) An estimated five per cent tuberculosis (TB) patients in Uttar Pradesh remain undetected, despite concerted efforts, suggests data from National TB Division of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The TB notification target for UP is 5,50,000, which includes a goal of 3,64,000 for the government sector and the remaining 1,86,000 for the private sector.

Against the target, public sector hospitals recorded an achievement of 102.5 per cent but the private sector was able to achieve 80.4 per cent of the expected target.

Nearly 95 per cent target was realised which leaves a gap of about five per cent.

Data also indicated that one in five TB patients being diagnosed in the private sector, are missed from the loop of treatment.

Experts revealed that while on one hand, the missed cases impede state’s performance vis-a-vis Stop TB goals, they add to the risk of latent TB in which the symptoms are not dominant and visible.

Global health agencies have noted that TB is the second leading infectious killer after Covid-19 and HIV.

Approximately 33 per cent of the world’s population has latent tuberculosis infection which makes screening for mycobacterium tuberculosis infection essential for public health.

Experts said over the past five years, technology has helped India bring down TB prevalence significantly.

Dr Rajendra Prasad, vice chairman, National Task Force, TB Elimination Programme (for medical college involvement), said: “Earlier, the focus was largely on identifying ailing persons and putting them on treatment but now the focus includes screening of TB at the level of infection and eliminating it.”

Citing an example, he said, “A new test is now available in the private sector which can help diagnosis of TB infection even in challenging patients like the immune-suppressed or the BCG vaccinated. Besides, it can give reliable outcomes in one go against the available variant of TB skin test (Mantoux) which requires a patient to give sample one day and then come again for a second visit 72 hours later. Many people do not return for the follow up reading.”

The test called Interferon Gamma Release Assay or IGRA (commercially known as Revvity’s T-SPOT) was launched at a medical conference at KGMU Lucknow last week.

Shripad Joshi, president India and South Asia, for the manufacturer company, said: “Estimates show that approximately 40 per cent Indians carry latent TB and its detection before it progresses to active disease is paramount. This advanced screening tool can help in aiding India’s Stop TB campaign.”

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